Over-representation of Aboriginal children and young people revealed in new report on suicide amongst children and young people in Victoria

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14 November 2019

Over-representation of Aboriginal children and young people revealed in distressing new report on suicide amongst children and young people in Victoria.

A distressing new report ‘Lost, not forgotten’ from the Commission for Children and Young People revealed that 35 young people and children took their lives within 12 months of their involvement with Child Protection, six of which were Aboriginal.

With Aboriginal children and young people disproportionately over-represented in out-of-home care, and many having experienced significant trauma, they are particularly vulnerable to mental illness and suicide.

Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA) CEO Muriel Bamblett said “It is heartbreaking that the systems we expect to protect our children, failed to serve them.”  

“All Aboriginal children reviewed in the report experienced the pain of intergenerational trauma and grief. Cultural healing is integral to healing intergenerational trauma for our children and young people.”

“A trauma-informed approach is required to understand the intergenerational trauma experienced by our people – and the impacts of history on Aboriginal people over centuries.”

High rates of suicide and psychological distress of Aboriginal children and young people has become nationally known – and tragically the report highlights suicide as the leading cause of death for Aboriginal people aged between five and 17 years.

VACCA supports the report’s six recommendations including more funding for prevention and early intervention service models.

Contents of the report may be distressing. 

Read the full report here 

For all VACCA media queries contact VACCA Communications Manager Vanessa Morris on vanessam@vacca.org

 

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